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Hawks - the Great

Hunters of the

Woodlands and Plains


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Accipiters (Hawks) are long tailed hunters with short rounded wings.
They fly rapidly with short wing beats interrupted by glides.

Harriers are slim with long rounded wings and long tails. They glide swiftly
a few feet above ground.

Buteos are the largest family of accipiters. They are soaring hawks which
circle overhead and drop upon their prey in a steep dive. They have broad
rounded wings, a robust body and a broad fanned tail.

Some birds called hawks in North America are known as buzzards in
Eurasia. There is no clear cut definition of what constitutes a hawk.
The 48 species of the genus that includes goshawks and sparrow hawks
are sometimes called true hawks.

Two North American representatives of this group are the sharp-shinned
hawk and the Cooper's hawk. Both are blue-gray above and mottled
reddish-brown below.

The sharp-shinned hawk is significantly larger.
In both species the females are larger than the males.

All hawks feed on living prey but tend to specialize partly based
on size. Thus, the smallest hawks feed primarily on insects, and
larger hawks on increasingly larger prey.

Most hawks build bulky nests of twigs, bark, and leaves high in trees.

Hawks belong to the family Accipitridae, order Falconiformes.

True hawks make up the genus Accipiter.
Most North American hawks are classified in the genus

Picture Hawk

Types of Accipiters include:

Cooper's Hawk
Northern Goshwak
Norther Harrier
Sharp Shinned Hawk

Types of Buteos include:

Broad Winged Hawk
Common Black Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk
Gray Hawk
Harris Hawk
Osprey (fish hawk)
Red Shouldered Hawk
Red Tailed Hawk
Rough Legged Hawk
Short Tailed Hawk
Swainson's Hawk
White Tailed Hawk
Zone Tailed Hawk

North American Birds


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